Volunteer fair offers chance to serve

A volunteer fair will be held for the fourth time from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 15 at Westlake Middle School, 2629 Harrison St., Oakland. This is a special opportunity for those of us with a little extra time on our hands to find out about the amazing range of volunteer opportunities to work with the youth of Oakland. There will be more than 20 organizations represented that are making amazing contributions to our community.

Our organization, Volunteering for Oakland, was contacted recently to see if we could provide assistance at the former Lakeview School, which is now the site for family, schools and community partnerships where the registration for school was taking place.

This was a short-term commitment, which provided a vital service, and we were touched by the dedication of the parents and other adult caregivers, as well as the staff of the Oakland Unified School District who worked hard to make the right matches for each of the students.

Join us at the volunteer fair and find an organization that can match your availability with their needs on behalf of the youth of Oakland. Visit our website at www.volunteering foroakland.org.

Katie McLane

Oakland

Tribune endorsement is right on Prop. 35

I applaud the paper's endorsement of Proposition 35, an initiative that will fight human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of women and children.

In the editorial, the paper took exception to both the definition of the crime of human trafficking and the possible limitations placed on criminal defense attorneys. A response to both:

First, Proposition 35 applies to those who traffic children, not those who traffic in child pornography. Proposition 35 could only be construed to include the distribution of child pornography if the distributor caused the child to engage in the sexual act, such as by selecting the child to appear in the film. There are laws on the books to fight the possession and distribution of child porn and Proposition 35 will not augment them.

Second, Proposition 35 places no restrictions on defenses used by criminal attorneys to protect those who pimp or traffic young girls. It only states that a minor's acts of forced prostitution cannot be used against her or him during the prosecution of a case.

Thanks again to the paper for the endorsement.

Nancy O'Malley

Alameda County District Attorney

Driving Chevron out harms Richmond

A real shocker. Poor old Richmond exploited by Chevron again. So 15,200 people went to hospitals, but were they really harmed? Not much, judging by their appearance in the picture on the Sept. 6 front page.

Sounds like some citizens are getting ready to exploit the issue once again, to milk whatever they can get out of the corporation, to go along with the $20 million to $30 million it has been given since the mid-'90s.

Great work if you can get it.

Very little of this has gone to mitigate real harm caused by Chevron's activities. It's just blackmail, just a shakedown to get as much as you can for your pet cause or your organization.

It's a gravy train, prompted by the action of whatever pressure group can get in on the take. But let's not forget who ultimately pays: consumers of gasoline and diesel, that is, all the rest of us outside the city limits.

Those who are always hounding Chevron won't end up with much if they succeed in driving the refinery out of town. We won't have the gas, but they won't have the gravy either, or the jobs. Something to think about as they squawk.

Steve Tabor

Alameda

Killing human beings is in no way a 'sport'

A letter stated that the correct terminology for assault rifles (used in numerous recent massacres) is "sporting rifles." The last time I checked, killing humans is considered "sporting" only by sociopaths and severely disturbed persons.

The manufacturers of the AK47, MAC-10, AR-15, TEC-9 and Uzi assault weapons make no such pretenses. Their advertising states that these weapons' purpose is as military weapons, as in killing large numbers of people in five to 40 seconds. Calling theses implements of death "sporting" is about as honest as labeling cyanide, anthrax and pipe bombs "children's play toys."

James Snyder

Benicia